Powerful new novel from Meena Kandasamy to Atlantic Books

Atlantic Books Editor James Roxburgh, has acquired UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding India) in Meena Kandasamy’s second book, When I Hit You, or A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife from David Godwin at DGA. Atlantic will publish in Spring 2017.

Informed and inspired by her own experiences, Kandasamy’s follow up to the acclaimed Gypsy Goddess is a dazzling and provocative novel of an abusive marriage. Seduced by politics and poetry, the unnamed narrator falls in love with a university professor and agrees to be his wife, but what for her is a contract of love is for him a contract of ownership. As he sets about reducing her to his idealised version of a kept woman, bullying her out of her life as an academic and writer in the process, she attempts to push back – a resistance he resolves to break with violence and rape.  

“This book undid me. It is as fierce, smart, graceful and courageous as its author,” Roxburgh commented. “It is a dissection of what love meant, means and will come to mean when trust is undermined by violence; a brilliant, throat-tightening feminist discourse on battered faces and bruised male egos; a scathing portrait of traditional wedlock in modern India. To my mind, there will not be a book published next year that is more important, more ugly but more profoundly beautiful than this one.” 

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